In the mid-twentieth century, Calhoun County was beginning an unprecedented period of growth. Howard G. Hartzog, Sr. was an active community leader who guided the county as a private citizen, county judge and as a state representative by diligently promoting growth and community spirit. Howard Gallemore Hartzog was born on April 11, 1901 in Tolosa, Texas to J.O. and Sybil Hartzog. He graduated from San Marcos Academy, attended Southwest Texas Normal School (now Texas State University), obtained a bachelor's degree from Baylor University in 1926 and a law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1928. After a season of professional football with the New York Giants, he returned to Port Lavaca to practice law. In 1935, he married Anna Paul Allen (d. 1967) of Marlin and they had two children.
In 1933, Howard was elected representative for the 69th District and, for fourteen years, he actively contributed to writing bills to benefit education, vehicle safety and water conservation. After he left the Texas House of Representatives in 1947, he served on the Calhoun County Independent School District board of trustees and served as the interim city attorney. In 1950, he ran for county judge and was elected for six consecutive terms, a total of seventeen years. During his tenure, many local programs and projects
were completed, including the Lavaca Bay Causeway, Matagorda Ship Channel, a new library, airport and two major hospital expansions. As a community leader and member in numerous groups, Howard Hartzog devoted his life to service and worked tirelessly to promote growth, well-being and industry in Calhoun County. He died on May 18, 1968.